MOVING FROM AWARENESS TO ACCOUNTABILITY
This year, our 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign focuses on three major issues impacting our city, our territory, and our country as a whole:
Taxi safety in Whitehorse
It is your right to feel safe accessing vehicle-for-hire transportation services.
We continually hear about experiences with taxi drivers that are not appropriate or safe. We believe in preventing violence, and demand accountability from taxi companies to do more to protect their drivers and their passengers.
The community has rallied before and made changes happen to the Whitehorse bylaw.
Check out the new bylaw. We encourage passengers and drivers to know and assert their rights when it is safe to do so.
Don’t feel safe? Let us know! Get Support!
Prioritizing and implementing the MMIWG Inquiry Calls to Action
National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) Chief Commissioner Marion Buller has stated that: “Canada [is] founded on colonial genocidal policies.”
The MMIWG Inquiry’s final report made it clear that change is long overdue: It’s time for Canadians to take action to dismantle these policies.
What can you do to implement the Calls to Action in your life and your community? And, how to prioritize which needs should be addressed first?
- Listen to Indigenous leaders in your community!
- Support in any way you can.
- Recognise and address internal biases you may be harbouring.
The Liard Aboriginal Women’s Society (LAWS) submitted a report representing the needs of many women in our communities. Reach out to ask how you can get involved at liardaboriginalwomen.ca.
Want to know what Yukon women want prioritized? Read LAWS' Written Submission to the National Inquiry into MMIWG.
Read the MMIWG Inquiry Final Report.
Improving accountability for extractive industries, such as oil, gas and mining
It is time to put our communities first.
Throughout the MMIWG Inquiry we heard stories of gender-based violence, both within mining, oil and gas industries and through “Man Camps” - What are “Man Camps,” and how does this violence occur?
We encourage better accountability measures be put into place to ensure gender-based violence rates stop rising in and around extractive industries.
We encourage mining, oil, and gas corporations to strengthen their policies, create safe and supportive work cultures, and evaluate the risk of increasing rates of violence in the communities in which they work.
And we encourage all Yukoners to listen to advocates and implement changes. Let’s ensure the indifferent attitudes and societal acceptance of violence ends now.
Still not sure what this looks like in the Yukon?
Read this Yukon News article from July 2019: Man Camps may be a threat to Yukon Indigenous Women and Girls say Advocates
Contact the Yukon Status of Women Council to learn more from its 2011 publication Gaining Ground.
Want to learn more? Check out these publications:
MORE ON GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
“Gender-based violence (GBV) involves the use and abuse of power and control over another person and is perpetrated against someone based on their gender identity, gender expression or perceived gender. Violence against women and girls is one form of gender-based violence. GBV also has a disproportionate impact on LGBTQ2 (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and two-spirit) and gender-nonconforming people” - Status of Women Canada.
Gender-based violence is the product of an unequal society, and acts as a barrier to achieving equality for groups marginalized by their gender.
In Canada, 1 in 4 women will experience physical or sexualized violence in her lifetime. This rate is estimated to be 3 to 4 times higher in the Yukon and 3.5 times higher for Indigenous women.
The research is less extensive, but trans-identified folks also experience higher rates of gender-based violence. A study in Ontario showed that 1 in 5 transfolk experienced physical or sexual violence because of their gender, and almost 1 in 3 experienced verbal harassment. Trans-identified folks are also almost twice as likely to report experiencing intimate partner violence than cisgender folks.
What Does Gender-Based Violence Look Like?
Violence is not always obvious.
From the high-profile #metoo campaign, to recurring instances of sexualized violence in taxis right here in Whitehorse, gender-based violence has never been more widely discussed.
Examples of gender-based violence include sexualized violence, physical violence, psychological violence, financial abuse, harassment or stalking, cyber-violence, and much more.
To fully understand gender-based violence, we need to go beyond individual behaviour. In our society, countless social norms encourage gender-based violence. This includes the double standards and gendered expectations that promote male domination, encourage the objectification of women’s bodies, and dangerously “other” folks who identify outside the gender binary. Gender-based violence is encouraged every time that victims are discredited or blamed, and perpetrators excused.
Although self-identified women are more vulnerable to experiencing sexualized assault, not all women are equally vulnerable.
“Not all women are equally likely to be the victims of sexual assault. The concept of intersectionality is helpful here in that it highlights how interactions between different aspects of a person’s identity and social location – determined by, for example, socio-economic status, age, race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation and employment status – can leave some people more vulnerable to experiencing sexual violence than others.”
In addition, not everyone will be treated the same when they experience gender-based violence; some people may experience discrimination such as transphobia and racism in the health or justice system, and some people may not have access to services at all. This is important to keep in mind when trying to understand gender-based violence and strategize how to eliminate it.
Gender-based violence happens in all types of relationships. It can happen in friendships, marriages, partnerships, and professional relationships. Although most gender-based violence is perpetrated by cis-men against cis-women, violence also happens in queer relationships.
We can all be part of the solution - this year's campaign encourages both actions and prevention. Check out the rest of the site for ideas about ending gender-based violence in your community.